Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Clean By Dr. Alejandro Junger – Book Launch Party

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Tonight, my husband and I were invited (by Dhru of WLIR) to attend a book launch party hosted by Donna Karan at the Urban Zen Foundation. The book is called Clean and it’s written by Alejandro Junger, M.D. I haven’t read the book yet, but I picked up a copy tonight. While flipping through it once we came back to the hotel room, I saw some recipes in the back for animal product-based meals – darn. I know Dr. Junger is a fan of Raw/Living foods (yay!), and he has some recipes for Raw beverages, soups, etc in his book. I really can’t say much more about the book because I haven’t read it yet (I plan to while on this trip). And, although I’m unhappy about recipes that include animal products, it’s possible that the book can serve as a bridge to some healthier eating (including some vegan and raw food) for people who are completely oblivious to alternatives to the Standard American Diet.

They served loads of fresh veggies and hummus dip, along with some fabulous dolmas. Plus, the bar was awesome: green juice, green smoothie, mango smoothie, coconut water, dark chocolate covered (maybe it was even Raw) goji berries & banana chips, and a bowl full of mulberries. Now, let me tell you… that’s my kind of bar! At the end of the night they also had bowls of Raw Revolution Bars for the taking. Yum! 

While we were there, we chatted with Sarma (PF&W), Vanessa (Gnosis Chocolate), Dhru (WLIR), and Gala Darling (iCing). 

Update (June 13, 2009) – I have started reading Clean and the first couple of chapters have been very good. I look forward to reading more.

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Whale Wars Series Starts June 5!!!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

June 5…. the start of season two of Whale Wars with Paul Watson (of Sea Shepard) and his crew trying to save whales. Last season was amazing and I expect this one to be the same. Seeing whales hunted makes my blood boil and I’m thankful that Paul and his crew are out there trying to save as many as they can. Check out the following clips.

Note: The clips include raw footage thought by the network too graphic for anyone under the age of 18. While I agree it’s intense and brings out all kinds of emotions in me, I think it’s important for the world to see.

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Monday, June 1st, 2009

Cool News To Peruse

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Must See Documentary – June 2009 – (view trailer here) – Our nation’s food industry gets exposed in this exciting new documentary. I can’t wait to see it!

Check out a great review of it here.

Tori Spelling Makes Baby Food For Her Little One – view here.

Curcumin may delay the spread of fat tissue – read more here.

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Zosimos Botanicals Coupon – Great Beauty Products

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

A while back I wrote about some beauty products I like from a company called Zosimos Botanicals.
GREAT NEWS! They have a coupon promo going on right now. Get 15% of everything when you use the coupon code: SUMMER
To take advantage of this, visit Zosimos Botanicals. You have until May 25th.

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Monday, May 18th, 2009

Ahhhhh!!! WATERMELON!!!!!! —> I’m Addicted

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

For those of you who have followed my blog for a long time, you know about my insane love affair with organic watermelon (read more here and here). Basically, when it comes to organic watermelon… I have a problem. The addiction is intense. Quite honestly, I can’t make myself stop!

I just picked up my first EVER locally grown, organic watermelon. Holy heck of all get out – this thing was awesome (that was the PG rated version of my thoughts). The CSA I’m a member of (details here) is where I refueled my seasonal addiction for the first time this year. Let me tell you, friends, I’m in trouble. This watermelon was so delicious. And, the fact that it was picked no more than a few days before I had it in my greedy little hands… well, that just takes my excitement to a whole new level.

As usual, I have a nice little ritual when it comes to prepping my watermelon. I get out my beautiful knife and I start cutting the watermelon into big double-bite-size chunks. Then, I get out 3-4 bowls with lids (depending on the size) and I start putting the watermelon in it. Off to the fridge it goes… except that I keep eating a bite every other time I make a cut in the watermelon. It’s insane. I just keep eating it and eating it and eating it – to the point that I make myself a little sick – LOL.

When it comes time for eating it later (after I’ve put it away in the fridge all sectioned and chopped), I (attempt) to stop the madness of eating it non-stop by disciplining myself and taking out a small serving bowl. I then fill up the serving bowl to the tippy top and beyond (it ends up overflowing with watermelon as I try to balance one extra piece after another on top) with the goal that by using a small bowl I will take it to my desk and I won’t stand over the large bowl in the kitchen and…. eat it all.

Sometimes my plan works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Put it this way. I cut into the big watermelon for the first time on Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday (very late) night… most of it was gone.


For those of you following my Raw food intake, here was Saturday’s food. I did go to bed feeling a little hungry.

~ Filtered Water, 8 strawberries (locally grown through the CSA), 1 cup fresh orange juice (locally grown and just picked myself)

~ Water

~ 3 cups Plant Blood juiced with my Breville (carrots, zucchini, ginger)

~ Protein Shake (water, 3T Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein Powder, 2T Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Protein, 1t Amazing Grass’ Wheat Grass powder) I LOVE this combination – it fills me up, the wheat grass is alkalizing, and I get a solid amount of protein.

~ 4 strawberries, Krautwich (Soft-n-Savory Hemp Onion Bread , Raw unpasteurized organic sauerkraut), 1/3 cup hummus with 4 flax crackers

~ 3 cups watermelon

~ 2 cups watermelon

~ Herbal Tea (Raspberry leaf from Mountain Rose Herbs – my favorite source for organic teas, the freshness is unsurpassed)

~ 2 cups watermelon


New Kristen’s Raw Excitement!
I’ve decided to start doing some short podcasts and videos on my blog. What do you think?

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Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Why I Love Our CSA —> Exceeded Expectations, Cool Experience, Amazing Food

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

For those of you in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, if you’re not a part of the CSA, you’re truly missing out on the most amazing, fresh, organic produce ever.

The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) I wrote about previously is better than I ever imagined. I’m absolutely thrilled (and so very proud!) to be a part of this within my community. When I was a regular shopper at the farmer’s market, I thought I “got” how cool it was to buy my weekly produce from a certified organic, local farmer. But, I had no idea my experience was going to be taken to new heights once I was a part of Doug’s CSA. My connection to my food is that much stronger and, frankly, it moves me. Every bite is special because I know it was grown close to my home, it’s carbon footprint is minimal, it’s loaded with nutrition because it’s locally grown and just picked, and I helped finance the farmer (way cool!). I’ve had an important part in helping this farmer grow.

On top of all that, the price is awesome (and remember… it’s ORGANIC!)! And, get this… he even offers a payment plan for those of you who are super excited about this opportunity but don’t have the upfront cash. Not only that, but Doug’s CSA is year round! Do you realize how lucky we are to have a year round CSA? This is not common in other parts of the country.

Before I joined the CSA, I actually didn’t think I’d ever be a part of a CSA because most are operated with the program giving you a box of produce that you don’t select yourself. For me, I thought that might be a waste in some instances because I wasn’t sure I’d end up using all of the produce. I’m quite particular about my weekly shopping list. However, Doug’s CSA is different! Each week he emails the members an excel spreadsheet that serves as our shopping list. I select what I want, it tallies the total, and I email it back to him. Voila! Easy Peasy!

Pick up is on Saturday, when the normal farmer’s market is going on. Because I’m a member of the CSA, I’m treated as a VIP. My food is already paid for and set aside (unless I want to get extra goodies not included in my list), so I don’t have to wait in line. I simply pick it up. It’s an efficient system.

I could go on and on about how happy I am to be a part of this very cool program… but, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of testimonials from other super happy customers.
“I’ve been buying produce from Lewis’ Hen House for over a year now and was very excited when I heard they were starting a CSA, and that the pick-up location is very conveniently the market I was already going to every week! The produce is always the best quality – certified organic, fresh, and delicious. Very reasonably priced, too. The really great thing about this CSA is you get to pick exactly what you want each week! No getting strange veges you don’t really want or you don’t know what to do with! I’m really happy I decided to join.”

“Being a part of a local CSA is a great way to give back to the community, support local farming, and enjoy the freshest seasonal produce available. The produce I buy from Lewis’ Hen House is incredibly fresh and you can really taste and feel the difference. It is an honor to know the people who grow the food that nourishes your family!”

UPDATE! The CSA is no longer, sadly. They have a new program, called a Discount Club and you can view the details here.

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Monday, May 4th, 2009

I Pulled The Trigger – Just Bought My First Mac!!!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I did it! I went to the other side. I bought a Mac. I’ve been wanting to be in the group with the seemingly “cool” kids for some time now, but I kept putting it off. However, I couldn’t put it off anymore. My productivity is suffering and it’s time to upgrade. My reason for going to the Mac was because I’m a Raw foodie and the symbol for Mac is an apple. Hehehe… JUST KIDDING!

For the past many years, I’ve relied on my trusty Sony Vaio laptop. It’s had some issues but because I bought the extended warranty, I was covered when it acted up. I originally bought a slim laptop (vs. a desktop) because I was working in a corporate setting and I needed this for portability reasons, using in bed when working late, etc. But, it’s small. The screen is small. And, since I’m no longer working in that environment and I’m usually at home, it made sense to get a desktop. Even though my laptop is falling apart, I will still use it for travel so it’s not going into permanent retirement… only semi-retirement.

I’m on cloud nine for a while (a long while I suspect). I can wait until it arrives later this week. I know, I know… it’s only a computer. But, I expect GREAT things from this new addition to our family.

I suspect there will be a learning curve, but I’m not sure how intense. As most of you know, I have a BlackBerry (I frequently use this for email – talk about a life changing device for me!). From what I understand, I need to buy some software in order to back up my BlackBerry on my new iMac. Still need to figure all that stuff out. I’m also curious as to how people like Safari? How are the other programs?

Anyone have any advice or feedback?

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Monday, April 20th, 2009

How & Why I Freeze Raw Vegan Food

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

One of the ways I make my Raw vegan lifestyle easy is by utilizing my freezer. By doing this, I’m able to make foods in advance and nothing goes to waste. The following are things I think about when freezing Raw food.

1) What packaging (or container) will I freeze my Raw food in?
There are two types of packaging/containers I use for freezing: glass or plastic bags. When I freeze soups, nut/seed butters, hummus, dips, nut/seed milks, or dressings, I use glass mason jars. And, to make the freezing process even better, I use my
FoodSaver to suck out all of the air (they have an attachment for glass mason jars available for purchase). I even do this sometimes for food I keep in the refrigerator, even though it means using the FoodSaver every time I open the jar to eat some. It really helps to keep the foods extra fresh and delicious!

When I freeze dehydrated goodies such as pizza crusts, crackers, quiche crusts, nuts/seeds, dried fruit, or when I freeze desserts or pate, I tend to use the FoodSaver bags (yes, they’re plastic, but using the plastic can be helpful at times and necessary for things like quiche crusts, pizza crusts, desserts, and frozen bananas). Here, I use my FoodSaver to suck out as much air as possible, and, depending on the food, I’ll sometimes suck out all of the air and sometimes I suck out most of the air (being careful not to crush the food). That being said, I have used glass mason jars to store crackers and dehydrated nuts/seeds/etc (and then proceeded to use the food saver and glass jar attachment before freezing). The hard part about this is that the jars take up a lot of room in the freezer. As such, I now have a second large freezer (pictured above) and it was worth every penny because I store so much in there. I’m able to buy in bulk, save money, and freeze it all to preserve freshness.

Bottom line – I love my FoodSaver for freezing raw foods! In fact, my mom froze individual slices of my raw vegan cheesecake OVER A YEAR AGO using her FoodSaver, using the FoodSaver bags and sucking out as much air as possible without smishing the dessert (like my use of a technical word “smish?” – ha ha). Anyway… it tasted as delicious and fresh as the day I made it. Talk about some longevity! Heck… get a FoodSaver and make your holiday desserts now! Be prepared and save yourself time during the busy holiday season. :)

Now, all that talk about the lovely FoodSaver doesn’t mean that I don’t successfully freeze without a FoodSaver. I do! When I know I’m going to consume something within a month’s time or so, for example with raw desserts like cookies, chocolates, cheesecakes, etc… then I just slice it into individual servings (or create the individual cookies or chocolates) and freeze them in glass jars or glass square storage containers (my mom scored some of these at Costco for me recently – they have plastic lids, but that’s okay for me because the food isn’t touching the lid). It’s true that sometimes I end up using plastic containers, ICK!, but I try to stay away from it as much as possible. I’m still building up my supply of glass storage containers. It’s taken time to build an awesome Raw food kitchen, but it’s been worth every bit of the investment. It’s my family’s health after all.

2) What are the best Raw vegan foods to freeze?
A good rule of thumb is knowing that the higher the fat content it has usually means a better freezing experience. Therefore, if I’m freezing a fat free soup or dressing, then it might get some crystals on it over time, and it might not taste as good as it would fresh… but it’ll still be pretty good. In my opinion, I’d rather use a dressing on my salad that was frozen then thawed (but was still Raw vegan and pure), than to use a bottled dressing that underwent pasteurization and has shelf-life extending ingredients in it that I probably can’t pronounce anyway.

3) What about the vitality of my Raw food after it’s frozen?
It’s probably true that I lose some of the vitality of the food when freezing, but probably not nearly as much as when cooking. Freezing raw foods is a great option because if there is some nutrient loss (anywhere from 5-30% I’ve heard), I’m still getting tons of nutrition. And, add that to the fact that my life is easier, I’m less stressed and more organized, I save money, and I’m eating less cooked food because I have a freezer stocked full of delicious Raw foods… it’s a win-win all around.

In fact, the “fresh” produce I buy that sits in my refrigerator… well, that is also losing nutrition over time. It’s for this reason that some people believe that buying a bag of frozen organic berries (or other fruit) has more nutrition than fresh fruit from the produce department. The philosophy is that the (frozen) fruit was picked at its ripest and then frozen immediately to prevent nutrient loss that can occur from shipping to sitting in a large produce cooler at the store to sitting on the shelf waiting for you to buy it to transferring it home and then sitting in your refrigerator there, too. Note: Frozen veggies from the store are another story, because they have almost always been blanched before freezing, still studies show that not all of the nutrients are lost.

So… what do I do?
I cover all of my bases. I buy fresh and frozen organic fruits and I buy fresh vegetables. I get most of my fresh produce from the farmer’s market because locally grown is very important. And, while I eat most of my foods fresh, I like to keep a steady supply of Raw vegan foods frozen to make my life easier.

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Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Local Organic CSA – Taking A Poll For Interest

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

The following blog post is for people living in the Phoenix area. As many of you know, I love visiting the Road Runner’s Farmer Market because my favorite farmer, Doug (that’s Doug in the picture), is there selling his super fresh, delicious, certified organic produce. (Read about my experience with Doug’s food here.)

Doug emailed me this week tossing around the idea of possibly starting an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was stoked at the thought of this. Well… he asked me to try and gauge whether people I know locally would be interested in this. Here is what he had to say:

I would like to establish an “Organic CSA” in the Phoenix area. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially, it’s like a subscription club where customers sign up for a set period of time (3, 6, 9, 12 months), pay a set amount of money and then receive a set amount of fresh vegetables on a regular basis from the farmer. The subscribers would be partners in the produce grown on the farm. They would share in the success and or failure on the farm. They would then receive whatever produce was in season from the farm. The farmer then uses this income to sustain or expand his farm and provide an income for him. I would like to find out if you and your subscribers would be interested in something like this, if it existed. I’m just in the investigative stage, but if you could get an idea of interest, I would really appreciate it. If there seems to be interest, I can start working out the details.

UPDATE! The CSA that was started is no longer, sadly. However, they do offer a Discount Club and the details are here.

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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Chlorophyll Rich Pineapple Smoothie & Supplements

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Today started out with me jammin’ out to Lenny Kravitz (hope my neighbors didn’t mind – ha ha) while drinking a Green Smoothie recipe, Chlorophyll Rich Pineapple Smoothie( 1/2 cup water, 2 cups pineapple, chopped, 2 cups yellow bell pepper, chopped, 1 banana, peeled, 1 1/2 tablespoons Amazing Grass Wheat Grass Powder. The yield was about 3 cups of green goodness. After drinking that and dancing to Lenny, I was ready to tackle the day.

Sometimes I’m asked about what supplements we take. Yes, I have a great, balanced diet, but there are some things that I feel are needed in supplement form… sometimes daily, sometimes not.

On a fairly regular basis, we take a Vitamin B12 supplement. Right now, we’re using Jarrow’s. But, we’ve also taken this brand.

In addition to a B12 supplement, we also take a vegan DHA supplement (a building block for brain and retina tissue, especially important for pregnancy, infancy (through breast milk), and old age. It’s also been noted for helping people with depression, which I am not depressed, but thought I’d pass that information along. For information about this, click here.

On occasion, we take a probiotic by Dr. Ohhira’s. Gotta have lots of friendly bacteria for a healthy body!

And, for the first time, I’m trying some Vitamin K2 (for bones and teeth). I learned about it from Shazzie’s latest book, Evie’s Kitchen. Let me just take a moment to say… this book is great. I loved reading it. It’s great for anyone with (or without) kids, or for anyone who is family planning right now. The recipes use metric amounts, so that means having to convert them, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. It’s filled with pictures and worth the price.

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